Last year Americans consumed nearly 102 billion breakfasts, with another 50 billion morning snack occasions rounding out the average morning, according to The NPD Group. This will continue as breakfast foods meet consumers’ primary needs of function, convenience, and enjoyment.

The NPD Group’s recently released Future of Morning study illustrates how morning foods are changing today and into the future.

“While breakfast as an institution is deeply rooted, the what, how, and why surrounding our food and beverage choices and where we get them is changing,” says David Portalatin, NPD food industry advisor and co-author of Future of Morning report.  “Busy schedules mixed with good intentions and the need for fuel, shape what we eat and drink in the morning.” 

NPD’s study finds that today’s consumers are less concerned with the food itself and more interested in solutions that can bridge meals. They’re looking for function, convenience, and enjoyment from food. Easy access to food drives many decisions, as evidenced by the rise of mobile ordering and increased use of quick service restaurants for a fast grab-and-go breakfast or morning snack.

“Consumers are looking for foods and beverages to meet their needs – not for a food that fits a specific meal or snack daypart,” says Portalatin. “Food manufacturers, retailers, and foodservice operators all have an opportunity to make breakfast and morning snack food acquisition seamless by focusing on the consumer needs and offering daily solutions, including niche nutritional needs.”